Why Digitization Should Be Your Company’s Next Big Step - Canon Philippines

28 Sep 2021

    Why Digitization Should Be Your Company’s Next Big Step

    Company records serve as the backbone that could guide your organization to where it needs to be. But is keeping heaps of physical documents and files the best way forward? ? How much more reams of paper should you use to print documents day in and out?

    Just recently, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has issued a new guideline requiring the digitization of customer records in all banks, insurance companies, and other covered entities under Republic Act (RA) No. 9160, or the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001, as amended (AMLA). Entities, businesses, casinos, and professions subject to the AMLC's authority and jurisdiction on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) issues are among those who are covered.

    With the new guideline in place, covered persons like banks, insurance companies, and related businesses are required to store digitized records of their customers in their own central database. This means that those covered under the guidelines must be able to submit documents upon request.

    This move to digitization was fueled by the need for the council to accurately assess financial transactions, making sure that nothing suspicious is happening under the radar. But more than being a means to keep track of the transactions, digitization was also seen as a good way to perform effective information analysis and monitoring.

    The timing could not have been more apt as well. The Philippine economy is growing at one of the fastest rates in Asia. These guidelines provide an additional impetus for the economy to become more globally competitive, as they integrate the Philippine financial system more deeply into the digital world.

    In a world that turns to digital transactions for just about everything, perhaps it’s best to start embracing digitization as well. Here are some reasons why you should consider digitizing your organization’s customer records and physical documents.

    Managing physical documents is expensive. You'll have to spend more time and money on regular record management rather than the one-time expense of digitalization, which could save you money and time in the long run. Consider the following, for example.

    How many clerks are managing the records?

    An employee has to spend time looking for records, scanning them, sorting and exporting photos or text, and then returning the document to its designated location.

    When you compare that to the hourly wage of an employee, you can clearly picture the true expense of managing physical records. Many businesses even hire a full-time clerk to keep track of their physical documents.

    How much is each document worth?

    What financial impact does it have on your company if a record is lost, destroyed, damaged, or stolen? You may need to rush to replace the record or spend time looking for it. Worse, the record may be irreplaceable, making the repercussions even heavier.

    Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

    Dealing with physical documents slows down your team's performance. Think about it. An employee must physically move from records storage to the scanner, provide the records to a customer or to a personnel, and then return everything back to storage. By the time they wrap everything up, they would’ve spent around 30 minutes just trying to process a records request. Maybe even more.

    And that’s when records are already properly stored and organized. If you are dealing with a misfiled or lost document, the process could take way longer than the standard. Doing everything manually could take a toll on the human mind. This could lead to things moving at a slower pace, or even worse, processing errors! Remember that your records request can only be as fast and accurate as your employee is.

    By digitizing records and automating processes, you can cut the typical record retrieval process by up to 5 minutes. When everything is stored in a safe and secure digital space, anyone with access can acquire all the files they need in a snap. No more head-scratching moments by your multi-function devices.

    Perhaps the best thing about it is that it can also save your employees a lot of time and effort. Rather than spending hours just to retrieve a document, they can have more time to focus on the things that matter more instead.

    Safeguard Files in Case of Natural Disasters

    Disasters happen when you least expect them. Fires, typhoons, earthquakes, infestation, floods -- all these things could leave your organization in a very vulnerable state. One extreme bout of flood could instantly wipe all the information that you tried to build and protect all these years.

    Cases of these things happening in the Philippines are all too common. Yet not all organizations are ready to take the next step to make sure they don’t become a part of that statistic. Without a backup of your most essential files and records, your organization can suffer from permanent record damage and loss.

    Gain More Security Against Theft

    Theft is another form of threat that can leave your organization highly vulnerable. No matter how many security measures you have in place, physical documents will always become a target for damage or theft. Once it happens, it would be very difficult to trace and retrieve documents especially if you don’t have copies of them elsewhere.

    The biggest advantage that digitization can bring is the heightened security against this type of threat. Highly sophisticated document scanning services involve backing up records in a secure place that can only be accessed by selected personnel. Even then, advanced security measures are set to ensure that your digitized documents are in safe hands.

    Embrace the Call of the Times

    Gone are the days when we had to do everything manually. Using technology and processes to digitize your records benefits both your employees and your clients. Not only can you save time and money, but you also make sure that your employees stay productive and satisfied. Through faster services, you also gain higher customer satisfaction rates.

    Outdated systems are not only inefficient, but they are also highly cumbersome for the employees and customers who are now more accustomed to technological systems in the workplace. Modernizing your records show that you are ready to embrace the future, and most importantly, you care about the human side of the operations. Trust us, your employees and customers will thank you for it.

    Make More Room

    Workspaces are getting more agile nowadays. But this does not mean that the traditional office space is getting out of trend. A lot of businesses still rely heavily on having physical spaces to conduct their daily operations on. But office spaces are expensive. Each square meter must have a purpose and must be used as efficiently as possible. But things may get complicated once you factor in the documents that you’ll have to keep.

    Make sure that your workplace stays as efficient as possible by digitizing your records. This saves you a lot of headache in the long run. Think about all the space you can have. You can also ease your mind on keeping a temperature-controlled room with CCTV in every corner. With digitization, everything is just way easier.

    Raise your standards

    Whether it's from state, local, or global governments, or from industry regulatory groups, businesses will always encounter a slew of compliance issues at some point. For instance, laws and regulations governing the usage of papers by businesses have already been adopted in some countries over the years.

    The Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has implemented a directive to digitize all company records. For now, the directive only applies to certain industries like banking and insurance, but the council is hopeful that it will soon apply to more businesses operating in the country. Non-compliant businesses that lose original paper documents and do not have electronic backups may face serious penalties.

    The Armed Forces and Police Savings & Loan Association, Inc. (AFPSLAI) for instance, has taken the step to digitization by partnering with Canon Philippines. AFPSLAI has been dubbed as the biggest non-stock savings and loan association in the industry and they say digitization as a good opportunity to cut costs and increase productivity in their business. They are quite positive that many other companies will soon follow suit.With the new normal coming in, the way we have operated in the workplace has quickly shifted. Digitization is just one of the things that can make embracing the new normal easier and faster. So why not invest in it?

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